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AAMBIS-OWA party-list pushes for e-cigarette regulation

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AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin is pushing for the regulation of e-cigarettes to manage health risks posed by tobacco alternatives.

The chair of the House committee on economic affairs filed House Bill 5099 seeking to regulate Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems/Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS), Heat-Not-Burn devices, and electronic cigarettes.

The bill seeks to put in place policies, regulations, and actions focusing on reducing health risks, “usually by providing safer norms of hazardous products.”

Proponents of harm reduction argue that people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar and gasses, she said.

“While there is a need to introduce safer alternatives to smoking tobacco, it must also be regulated to protect all the stakeholders involved,” Garin opined.

As a proponent of measures concerning the welfare of marginalized farmers, Garin underscored the need to support the country’s tobacco farmers by way of improving access to credit, establishing well-developed supply chains, and helping them shift to viable alternative economic livelihoods.

Citing a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, she stressed that smallholder tobacco farmers remain the most vulnerable in the rise of electronic cigarettes and the shifting economic landscape.

“Aside from the rising health concerns, regulation is imperative to balance factors such as revenue generation, trade and commerce, job creation, the protection of minors and non-smokers, and the interest of tobacco farmers. There are a number of other factors to consider,” Garin explained.

The bill is pending with the committee on trade and industry.

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